Because the occurrence of infective endocarditis (IE) continues to be associated with high mortality, a working group was created by the Dutch Society of Cardiology to examine how the most recent European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines for IE management could be implemented most effectively in the Netherlands. In order to investigate current Dutch IE practices, the working group conducted a country-wide survey. Based on the results obtained, it was concluded that most ESC recommendations could be endorsed, albeit with some adjustments. For instance, the suggested pre-operative screening and treatment of nasal carriers of Staphylococcus aureus as formulated in the ESC guideline was found to be dissimilar to current Dutch practice, and was therefore made less restrictive. The recently adapted ESC diagnostic criteria for IE were endorsed, while the practical employment of the relevant diagnostic techniques was simplified in an adapted flowchart. In addition, the presence of a multidisciplinary, so-called 'endocarditis team' in tertiary centres was proposed as a quality indicator. An adapted flowchart specifically tailored to Dutch practice for microbiological diagnostic purposes was constructed. Lastly, the working group recommended the Stichting Werkgroep Antibioticabeleid (SWAB; Dutch Working Party on Antibiotic Policy) guidelines for IE treatment instead of the antibiotic regimens proposed by the ESC.
Keywords: Cardiac imaging; Disease management; Infection; Infective endocarditis; Microbiological diagnosis; Prosthetic heart valves.